Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dad pleads not guilty in murder of 3-month-old son (Plymouth, England, United Kingdom)

Dad GRAME DRAPER has pleaded not guilty in the murder of this 3-month-old son. The baby died from an "incident" where he received head injuries.

Father denies child's murder
Tuesday, February 16, 2010, 10:00

A MAN accused of killing his baby son has pleaded not guilty to his murder.

Graeme Draper wept in the glass dock of Plymouth Crown Court's number 3 court when he appeared in custody yesterday.

He was almost inaudible when asked to confirm his name, but spoke up firmly as he answered the charge with "not guilty" to the murder of Kodi Martin.

Draper, aged 25 and of Beaumont Road, St Judes, Plymouth, then relapsed into silent tears again, mopping his eyes and shaking his head as the details of his trial were discussed.

Judge Francis Gilbert QC said the trial was expected to last at least a week and would be conducted by a High Court judge.

It was pencilled in to start on July 5 at Plymouth Crown Court, but because of the difficulties of co-ordinating the judge, counsel and expert witnesses, the trial may have to be held in Bristol.

There were gasps from the public gallery as Judge Gilbert agreed with the prosecution that baby Kodi's body could not be released yet to his family.

Draper, dressed in a grey Reebok hooded top and black Adidas tracksuit bottoms, was remanded in custody again and led away.

Three-month-old Kodi was found to have serious head injuries after an alleged incident at an address in Beaumont Road, Plymouth, on November 1 last year.

His father, Graeme Draper, was charged two days later at Plymouth Magistrates Court with maliciously causing grievous bodily harm.

Kodi was treated at the scene by paramedics from South Western Ambulance Service before being taken to Derriford Hospital.

Later the same day he was transferred to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol by police helicopter.

Kodi, who was just four months old, died in hospital on November 24, his mother Tammy thanking all the hospital staff who had tried to save him.